Veteran swimmer and surf life saver Ray Burridge.
Veteran swimmer and surf life saver Ray Burridge.

Outrage over local pools' change

THE Clarence Valley swimming community is outraged at a proposal to strip the management of its swimming pools from two local companies and award the contracts to a Queensland business.

Veteran swimmer and surf lifesaver Ray Burridge said he had only got news of the proposal on Saturday and wanted the community to voice its opposition to the proposal. Clarence Valley Council staff has recommended the management of the pools at Grafton, South Grafton, Ulmarra and Yamba go to a Rockhampton-based company, Lane 4 Pty Ltd.

The recommendation will go to council's civil and corporate committee meeting tomorrow.

Council staff has recommended Lane 4 be awarded the contract for five years from July 1, with a renewal option of another five years.

Mr Burridge, who is a masters swimmer and a past president and life member of the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club, said the decision not to renew the contract of the companies run by Alan and Allura Paterson in Grafton and Richard Beresford in Yamba was outrageous and a scandal.

“Alan and Allura have done a fantastic job for a lot of years in Grafton and Richard Beresford at Yamba has some of the best young swimmers in Australia coming out of the Yamba pool,” he said.

Mr Burridge said a councillor on the committee, Karen Toms, had told him the proposal was a “done deal”.

“I don't know what we can do about it,” he said.

“But I know that anyone who has ever had anything to do with the Patersons will be outraged that council could do something like this to them.”

Mr Burridge said there were plans afoot among the swimming and surf lifesaving fraternity to organise a deputation to attend tomorrow's meeting.

“These people are going to rip us off,” he said.

“We have to put pressure on the council to change its mind on this decision.”



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